Where are you from? Bay Area, CA
Broadway credits: All original casts - Fosse, Chita Rivera The Dancer's Life, Flower Drum Song (2002 revival),The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, The King & I (1996 revival), The King & I (2015 revival)
How did you hear you’d booked your first Broadway show? I went to a massive open call for Carousel at Lincoln Center. It was a sea of bunheads. We even had numbers pinned on our leotards. The morning after the final callback, my phone rang, and it was casting director Daniel Swee offering me a position in the original cast. I was so excited, happy, and proud of myself... that audition was filled with beautiful ballet dancers, many ABT. No one else was with me in my apt. when I got that call so I just yelled and jumped up and down by myself.
What is your favorite event in the Broadway community? I love all the BC/EFA fundraisers, especially Gypsy of the Year. I am always amazed and touched by the generosity of our community, but nothing makes my heart beat faster than the excitement of participating in a Tony Award telecast.
What’s something about Broadway that fascinates you? Our strong sense of community. I don't know if I fully appreciated it until I moved away from NY for 3 years. During that time I felt so disconnected and lonely. I don't know anyone that doesn't miss Broadway when they leave it... just becomes a part of you.
Tell us a secret. I have a terrible sweet tooth.
What, other than theatre, has inspired you recently? My 2 daughters, Avelina and Isabela, inspire me every day to be the best person I can be. I have this huge responsibility to help them grow up to become happy, healthy, strong, confident women. I wake up every morning, take a deep breath and try my best to set a good example for them and to not only love them, but to make them feel truly loved every day.
If I could have coffee with any living person, it would be... That question is too overwhelming for me... Barack Obama, Dalai Lama... no idea. I'm just happy I can afford coffee.
If I could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose... A Character Actor. I always joke with Ann Harada, "Please Freaky Friday with me!" I would love to once experience being in a show where I get to walk on stage, get the laugh, and then go hang in my dressing room until curtain call. I bet I would finally learn to knit or make something crafty.
To be successful in this business, it takes... I don't know. A combination of ignorance and hard work? If I had known the statistics of how many kids that take dance classes actually get in a Broadway show and that only 1.5% of those folks are Asian... Well thankfully I didn't know all that. I only knew what I wanted so I left home when I was 16, moved to NY when I was barely 17. I took 13 classes a week and worked my butt off. I went to a ton of open calls and when I started working, I continued to take class everyday... So yeah, I guess ignorance and hard work... Wait, am I successful yet?